Final Paper and Presentation Guidelines

Final Paper and Presentation Guidelines

Spring 2015

Professor: Jura Liaukonyte

AEM 4550 – Economics of Advertising


Twenty percent of your grade in this course will be based on a class presentation and afinal paper.

Case studies of particular industries or companies are an important tool of research in the field of advertising. Analyzing an industry or a company and its advertising strategies in detail will give you a feel for how real worldfirms and markets operate; it will also give you a chance to apply many of the theoretical ideasthat we discussed in this class.

The timeline of the project and paper is the following:

Sometime between now and the end of this week– you should email me to “reserve” the industry or company so that we do not have any overlapping topics. Note: the earlier you do this, the better the chances are for you to “get” that industry or company. I will post the chosen topics as soon as I get them. Confirm with me that the industry that you have chosen is not reserved by any group.

By 10AM onApril 7th– email me () short project outline (up to 1 page). In this outline you should note:

•What industry/company your group picked and why

•Why would it be interesting for theadvertising audience?

•What are the examples of advertising strategies that this industry/company employs?

•How might the competition in the industry affect the advertising strategy?

April 7, 9–15minute individual meetings with me to go over your proposed project so that I could address any questions or concerns you may have and give you data and recommendations on how to approach the analysis.

April 9 – HW5 is due

May 5 – Mini Exam, final paper due

Preparation for Presentation:

April 7* – Individual meetings in class

April 9* – HW5 is due, Individual meetings in class

* Attendance will be taken for everyone. I expect that the rest of the students will spend that time discussing and preparing for the presentation with their group members.


April 14 - Group presentation #1, #2

April 16–Group presentation #3, #4

April 21 - Group presentation #5, #6

April 23–Group presentation #7, #8

April 28 - Group presentation #9, #10

April 30– Group presentation #11, #12

May 5– Mini Exam, final paper due

General Rules

  • Every team should plan to present for 35 minutes and distribute that time approximately equally among all team members (~9 minutes each). Groups of 3 should plan slightly shorter presentations (under 30 mins).
  • Even though there will be a common denominator that will determine the score for your group overall, I will also evaluate presentations on an individual basis. Therefore, the scores for presentation and paper across the same team members might not be the same. There is a way to detect free riders, and I will take that into consideration when assigning the final grade.
  • I will take attendance during every presentationand take particular note of students who ask good questions.
  • There will be a mini exam that will be based on your classmates’ presentations.

Content of Your Presentation and Paper

One core requirement for the paper and presentation is that you utilize some raw data in your analysis pertaining to your chosen company or industry. Raw data can be the data that you collected and documented yourself (e.g. different advertising types and strategies, etc.), advertising data shared by the owner of the business that you analyze, or advertising data from various business databases. If you are unsure whether your selected data source qualifies as raw data, you should talk to me.

Analyzing the advertising strategies is inseparable from analyzing the competitive structure of the industry. Therefore, even if you choose to analyze a company, you will need to spend some time in your paper and presentation analyzing the industry itself.

The paper should be:

•Approximately 12-15 pages in length, typed, and double-spaced

•The font size should be 12 pt. in Times New Roman font

•Margins – 1 inch from the top, bottom, left and right.

•Graphs, tables and figures should not take up more than 20% of the entire paper. Anything that is in the Appendix will not be counted towards the total number of pages.

•References and citations should be listed at the end of the paper and they should not becounted towards the total number of pages.

•Not obeying the above typing guidelines will result in a penalty.

•Spelling and grammatical errors should be avoided as they signal a lack of precision andattention to detail.

•The due date for the paper is May 5th, 2015.

•Late papers will be penalized one letter grade per day. You should anticipate that gradingfor this paper will be demanding yet fair.

Suggested Outline for the Industry/Company Analysis:

1. Introduction: Which industry/company did you choose? Why?

  • Suggested length -~5-10% of all slides

2. Industry Structure (independent of whether you chose an industry or a company)

  • Suggested length -~30% of all slides

•Background: What does the industry produce? What is the basic technology? How areproduction costs financed? Who buys the product(s)? How are the products (or services)distributed? Give illustrative data on output, prices, employment, import and exports, etc.

•Competition: How many firms are there in the industry? (If applicable and traceable,what is the HHI of this industry?) Is entry and exit easy or difficult? How competitive isthe industry in its degree of rivalry? Are the industry’s products differentiated and, if so,according to what characteristics (design, function, appearance, geographic market, etc.)?What role does government play in the industry? How does regulation or othergovernment policy affect it?

•Organization: How is the industry organized? What parts of the chain of production do the firms undertake themselvesand what do they buy from outside suppliers or pass on to independent distributors orretailers?

3. Advertising Strategies

  • Suggested length –at least 50% of all slides

What advertising strategies does the company (the firms in this industry) engage in?What are the advertising to sales ratios in this industry/company? Is it considered high or low? Why? How did advertising expenditures change over time? Why? How does the market structure/industry competition relate to the advertising strategies? What are the brand values/equities? Are there any tricks that the industry uses in advertising? This part of the presentation is the most important and should employ the raw data analysis.

4. Analysis and Recommendations:

  • Suggested length –~5-10% of all slides

•Investment: How would you evaluate the industry from the perspective of a venture capitalistor stock-market analyst?

•AdvertisingStrategy: How would you advise the managers of firms in the industry regarding their advertising strategy? What changes shouldthey make (if any)? (This will likely vary from firm to firm.).

You should employ mathematics and/or graphical arguments at your discretion. Note, howeverthat rigorous calculations alone do not magically transform an uninteresting idea or perspectiveinto an interesting one.


Generally, my recommendation for you would be to choose to analyze an industry as opposed to the company, just because there is more to be said and analyzed when it comes to any industry. I do not discourage you from choosing to analyze a company, but you should have access to a sufficient amount of data which is generally more challenging.

I would recommend to pick an industry or a company with high advertising to sales ratio.

Some examples of industries that you might consider

  1. Chocolate Industry
  2. Soaps and Detergents
  3. Domestic/Foreign Beer Market
  4. Soft Drinks
  5. Wireless Telephone Service Providers
  6. Automobiles
  7. Car Rental Market
  8. PC/Tablet Industry
  9. Smartphones
  10. Sportswear
  1. Prescription Medicines
  2. Ready to Eat Cereal Market
  3. Fast Food
  4. Credit Cards
  5. Video Consoles
  6. Hotels
  7. Weight-loss programs
  8. Athletic footwear
  9. Insurance

To summarize every group is responsible for the following assignments/tasksin chronological order (check above for deadlines):

  • Reserving a topic via email
  • Turning in a one page project outline
  • Turning in HW5
  • Individual meeting time with me
  • Presentation
  • Paper

I will fill this table up regularly and post it on the course website.

Reserved topic / Individual Meeting Time / Presentation date
1. / April 14, #1
2. / April 14, #2
3. / April 16, #1
4. / April 16, #2
5. / April 21, #1
6. / April 21, #2
7. / April 23, #1
8. / April 23, #2
9. / April 28, #1
10. / April 28, #2
11. / April 30, #1
12. / April 30, #2